North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO4 2015

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 4 491 Southern Atlantic Petrels close to shore off Oregon Inlet, Dare, NC 6 Jul (AW), and a Leach's Storm-Petrel was photographed near Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover, NC 3 Jul, just as the storm ap- proached, possibly the frst for that county (SC). The Hatteras pelagic recorded a White- tailed and a Red-billed Tropicbird 8 Jun. Indi- vidual imm. Red-billed Tropicbirds were also seen on the 13, 24, & 27 Jun trips (BP et al.). A single Wood Stork was observed in the Pied- mont in Henry, GA 17 Jul (PR). Six Magnifcent Frigatebirds, mostly imms., were reported during Jun and Jul along the coast, from Dare, NC to Chatham, GA (m.ob.). Two Great Cormorants were observed at New River Inlet, Onslow, NC 3 Jun, with one remain- ing through the summer into fall (GG). Large focks of American White Pelicans were seen away from the coast, including 50 at Lake Ac- worth, Cobb, GA 19-20 Jun (JU) and 18 pho- tographed in the mountains on Lake Julian, Buncombe, NC (fde MW). At least 640 Brown Pelican nests were recorded in Georgia, 552 of which were on Satilla Marsh Island, Camden (fde TK). A total of 10 Reddish Egrets were spotted along the coast, all single birds except 2 seen on Little St. Simons Island, Glynn, GA 16 Jul (LG). Mirroring recent increases in Roseate Spoonbill numbers along the coast, including one seen as far n. as Bogue Inlet, Onslow, NC 5 Jun (ph. FK, JV), there were four inland records in Georgia, including a notable count of 11 at Boggy Creek Farms, Wayne 26-27 Jun (KB). In addition to typical post-breeding dis- persal sightings of Swallow-tailed Kites across seen 27-28 Jun (SR). Three imm. Common Eiders lingered around jetties at Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, SC until 6 Jun (JG). Mirroring the summer of 2013, there were higher- than-usual numbers of oversummer- ing Black Scoters throughout the Re- gion, with notable counts including 45 off Kiawah Island, Charleston, SC 14 Jun (CW), 31 off North Topsail Beach, Onslow, NC 10 Jun (GG), 14 on the Lower Fear River, Brunswick, NC 17 Jun (DC), and 12 at Fort Pulaski N.M., Chatham, GA 14 Jun (C&MS). Ten juv. Common Mergan- sers were seen near Lake Adger, Polk, NC 24 Jul (SR), confrming successful breeding again at this location. Seven Plain Chachalacas were on Sapelo Island, McIntosh, GA 28 Jun (D. Ceravolo), their only U.S. breeding location away from s. Texas. There were several scattered sight- ings of Common Loons across North Carolina and two in Georgia, with a high count of 5 at Oregon Inlet, Dare, NC 27 Jun (SR). Two Trindade Petrels were seen on a pelagic trip out of Hatteras, Dare, NC 28 Jun, and a single bird was seen on a 25 Jul trip (ph. BP et al.). A Great Shearwater was reported on a vegetated spoils site where Brown Pelicans breed on the lower Cape Fear River in Brunswick, NC 17 Jun (DC), and a moribund bird was found on North Topsail Beach, Onslow, NC 7 Jul, after the passage of Hurricane Arthur (GG). This storm also brought up to 80 Wilson's Storm- Robert Sattelmeyer Richard Hall Josh Southern –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he Southeast had relatively average weather during the breeding season, with the previous years' drought con- ditions fnally abated. The only signifcant weather event to impact sightings was the landfall of Hurricane Arthur near Beaufort, NC 3 July, the earliest North Carolina landfall on record, predictably leading to a number of pe- lagic birds being seen near shore or inland. In Georgia, the absence of strong storms or strong easterly winds at high tides enhanced success of beach-nesting species. Black-bellied Whis- tling-Ducks continued their northward and westward expansion in the Region, and three Limpkins spent the summer in south-central Georgia. Among species of particular concern, preliminary Breeding Bird Survey data contin- ue to document the steep decline of Northern Bobwhite throughout the Region. The most unusual sighting was certainly the Common Ringed Plover seen and photographed near the Outer Banks 15 May. WATERFOWL THROUGH SHOREBIRDS A new Georgia high count of 255 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks was recorded at Altamaha W.M.A., McIntosh, GA 1 Jun (JB, JF); they con- tinue to spread to the southwest of the state, with good counts of 34 from Decatur 21 Jun (WS) and 44 in Mitchell 17 Jul (TL, WS). Sight- ings continued to increase in the Carolinas as well, with six scattered reports of 1-2 birds plus 5 at a small pond at Blue Ridge Commu- nity College, Flat Rock, Henderson, NC 13 Jun (KK). One in the Georgia mountains was at Lake Zwermer, Lumpkin 4-10 Jul (BL), where the bird was seen associating with a Greater White-fronted Goose 1-18 Jul (GB, m.ob.). Among the more unusual reports of oversum- mering waterfowl, a Brant lingered with Can- ada Geese at Pea Island N.W.R., NC 4 Jun–2 Jul (JL, AW), where 5 American Wigeons were Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have slowly expanded their range northward in the Southeast in recent years. This duo was photographed at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Hyde County, North Carolina 23 June 2014. Photograph by Scott Winton.

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